Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Facts (to me) about Medication Non-adherence and Chronic Conditions

I found this article by Dr. Onyekaba on Insight News.com. Most of the information is pretty remedial - drugs don't work unless you take them - but there were some new insights.

Here are some facts (not documented by their source) that I did not know about medication non-adherence and chronic care:

"In the general population it is estimated that about 90% of elderly patients make some medication errors with 35% making potentially serious life threatening errors.

Furthermore about 50% of all long term medications for chronic disease conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and depression are abandoned in the first year because the patients either claimed that they are cured or are bored taking the same medications on and on again."

"Non-compliance causes admission of 380,000 patients to nursing homes per year and in a society where the State could take custody of the infirmed elderly, and move them into assisted living facilities it becomes very important that the children and care giver should assure their medication compliance."

"Depression affects approximately 20 million people in the United States alone. It is estimated that about $43.7 billion a year is spent on medication, benefits and lost work days due to depression. One of the biggest problems with patients who are treated for depression is non-compliance with medication usage. "

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